US SoccerUS Soccer

Suhnholz Calls in Strongest Squad Yet as U.S. Under-20s Gear Up for CONCACAF Qualifying

CHICAGO (Wednesday, March 7, 2001) - The United States Men?s Under-20 National Team will begin their final preparations for the CONCACAF Group B qualifying tournament this week when the players gather today in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz has called in 21 players for the camp, which is scheduled to include two matches before the final team will travel to Trinidad on March 14, four days before the U.S. begins qualifying.

The U.S. opens the qualifying tournament at the Dr. Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence in Tunapuna, Trinidad, against Guatemala on March 18, then faces Trinidad & Tobago on March 20 and Costa Rica on March 22. The top two teams from the group will advance to the 2001 World Youth Championship from June 17-July 8 in Argentina.

While in Florida, the Under-20s are scheduled to face Major League Soccer?s NY/NJ Metrostars on March 9 and will participate in the Miami Friendship Classic on March 11 against Haiti Select in the second match of a doubleheader that also includes the Miami Fusion in a 5 p.m. match.

"We are all very anxious and can?t wait to get started with qualifying," Suhnholz said. "The team has begun to play well, and now we get to bring in our full squad with Landon (Donovan), DaMarcus (Beasley), Conor (Casey) and Bobby (Convey). With all of the professional experience on this roster, we will be able to field a very strong side."+

When the players arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday, it will be the strongest team Suhnholz has fielded in his two-year term as head coach. Landon Donovan (Bayer Leverkusen - Germany) will be making his first ever Under-20 appearance, and DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire - MLS), Bobby Convey (D.C. United - MLS) and Conor Casey (Borussia Dortmund - Germany) will be making their first appearances of 2001 with the Under-20 squad. Casey, Beasley, Donovan and Nelson Akwari (UCLA) all made their Under-23 National Team debut at the 1999 Pan American Games before playing in their first Under-20 match. Beasley, Convey and Donovan have combined for eight full Men?s National Team appearances, giving Suhnholz?s squad unprecedented international experience.

Suhnholz will also be able to boast seven professional players, including Olympic teammates Donovan and Casey, as well as Seth Trembly (Colorado Rapids - MLS), Edson Buddle (Columbus Crew - MLS), Jose Burciaga (Kansas City Wizards - MLS), Beasley and Convey.

Nine players on Suhnholz?s roster are from the team that advanced to the 1999 Under-17 World Championship semifinals, including goalkeeper D.J. Countess (UCLA), defenders Oguchi Oneywu (Clemson), Alexander Yi (UCLA), Trembly and Akwari. In addition to those five, midfielders Kenny Cutler (Clemson), Beasley, and Convey, and forward Donovan were also all on the squad that placed an American-best fourth place at the 1999 event in New Zealand.

The Under-20s have posted a 7-3-3 record in 2001, including an impressive pair of wins against Mexico in Guadalajara in the team?s only two international matches of the year.

Canada and Jamaica grabbed CONCACAF?s first two spots in the World Youth Championship at the Group A qualifying tournament that took place this past week in Victoria, Canada. Canada was the surprise team of the group, going undefeated on its home turf, with victories against Central American powerhouses Mexico and Honduras.

The USA finished 11th at the 1999 World Youth Championship in Nigeria, losing only to eventual finalists Japan and Spain.

United States Under-20 Men's National Team
CONCACAF ?Group B? Qualifying Tournament
March 7-14, 2001 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
March 14-23, 2001 - Port of Spain, Trinidad
Akwari, NelsonD6'0"18002/04/82Houston, Tex.UCLA
Arena, KennyM6'1"18002/06/81Fairfax, Va.University of Virginia
Beasley, DaMarcusM5'8"14005/24/82Fort Wayne, Ind.Chicago Fire (MLS)
Buddle, EdsonF6'1"17005/02/81New Rochelle, N.Y.Columbus Crew (MLS)
Burciaga, JoseD6'1"16011/16/81Duncanville, Tex.K.C. Wizards (MLS)
Carroll, BrianM5'10"14507/20/81Springfield, Va.Wake Forest University
Casey, ConorF6'1"17007/25/81Gilpin, Colo.Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Convey, BobbyF5'8"15005/27/83Philadelphia, Pa.D.C. United (MLS)
Countess, DelvinGK6'1"18001/09/82Sacramento, Calif.UCLA
Cutler, KennethM5'9"14003/08/82Richmond, Va.Clemson University
Davis, BradF5'11"16511/08/81St. Charles, Mo.St. Louis University
Donovan, LandonF5'9"15503/04/82Redlands, Calif.Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Gray, KellyD6'2"17004/07/81San Jose, Calif.University of Portland
Lewis, RickyD6'0"17005/29/82Spring, Tex.Clemson University
Martino, KyleM5'10"14502/19/81Westport, Conn.University of Virginia
Onyewu, OguchiD6'2"19005/13/82Olney, Md.Clemson University
Salyer, PhilipM5'10"15010/30/81Trophy Club, Tex.University of Maryland
Spiteri, CurtisGK6'1"18003/15/81Vista, Calif.University of Portland
Trembly, SethD5'6"14503/21/82Littleton, Colo.Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Warren, DougGK6'0"18506/27/81Hoffman Estates, Ill.Clemson University
Yi, AlexanderD6'3"18002/27/82Easton, Md.UCLA

Team Staff
Head CoachWolfgang SuhnholzAustin, Tex.
Assistant CoachErik VisserSan Francisco, Calif.
Goalkeeper CoachBill IrwinPortland, Ore.
Head of DelegationFrancisco MarcosTampa, Fla.
Team CoordinatorCraig BlazerChicago, Ill.
DoctorMel HayashiLos Angeles, Calif.
TrainerAnthony GarciaBurbank, Calif.
Assistant TrainerJacob JoachimChicago, Ill.
Equipment ManagerJoe AhearnChicago, Ill.
Press OfficerForrest EberChicago, Ill.